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Full text of "Alabama College Bulletin: Alabama Girls After High School"

The State College for Women 

Bulletin 



Alabama Girls 
After High School 



ALABAMA COLLEGE 

The State College for Women 

Bulletin 




Alabama Girls After High School 



A report on a second follow-up 

of former girl students of 

six Alabama high schools 



BY 

ROCHELLE ROOD GACHET 

Director 
Vocational Advisory Service 



BULLETIN PUBLISHED QUARTERLY BY THE COLLEGE 

Entered at the Post Office, Mont ev alio, Alabama, 
as Second Class Matter. 

Vol. XLI, No. 1 July, 1948 Total Number 167 



The Times Printing Co., Montevallo, Ala. 



FOREWORD 

Every high school graduate comes face to face with 
an exceedingly complex economic society. The possible 
number of different kinds of jobs he might hold runs into 
tens of thousands. The combinations of characteristics of 
these jobs, including knowledge and skills required, are 
even more numerous and considerably more difficult to 
define. Preparation and guidance of the high school stu- 
dent, therefore, becomes a major educational responsibility. 

This study follows up on the careers during the war 
years of 269 girls who were graduated from high school 
in 1940 and 1941 and whose first year experiences have 
been previously analyzed by the same author, a specialist 
in vocational guidance for women. In publishing this sec- 
ond study, Alabama College attempts again to add to cur- 
rent knowledge on the post high school experience of 
young women. This knowledge can be valuable for the 
curriculum builders in our school systems in Viabama and 
is a further aid to sound vocational guidance in this region 
generally. 

JOHN T. CALDWELL 
President, Alabama College 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

LYRASIS Members and Sloan Foundation 



http://www.archive.org/details/alabamacollegebun167alab 



CONTENTS 

Page 
History „__ 7 

Population Studied 7 

Migration 7 

Marital „, - - 9 

Time and Place of Marriage 
Husband's Occupation 
Number of Children 

Occupational Status ~ 12 

Aid in Securing Jobs 
Reasons for Leaving Jobs 
Marital Status of Those Employed 
School Training for Jobs 
Types of Jobs Held 
Earnings on Jobs 

Vocational Plans for Future 18 

Kind of Work Considered Most Desirable 
Decision as to Future Vocation 
Chief Motive in Choosing Vocation 
Chief Help in Vocational Planning 

Attitude towards Education _ 20 

Formal Education beyond High School 

Evaluation of Usefulness of Subjects Studied in High School 

Subjects Not Studied and Later Regretted 

Conclusions - 23 



LIST OF TABLES 

Table No. Page 

1. Record by Schools of Contacts and Return of Schedules 7 

2. Residence Since Graduation 8 

3. States in Which Residence Held (Other than Alabama) 8 

4. Present Marital Status _. '. 9 

5. Years Out of High School before Marriage... 10 

6. Change in Husband's Occupation Since Marriage.. .10 

7. Occupational Distribution of Present Jobs Held by Husbands 
Contrasted with 1940-41 Occupation of Fathers ,. ._ .11 

8. Total Number of Children _ 11 

9. Number of Children per Marriage with Children .12 

10. Childless Marriages 12 

11. Occupational Status at Time Questionnaire Returned- _._12 

12. Evaluation of Youth as to Agency that Helped Most in 

Securing Job __ _ _ 13 

13. Chief Reason for Leaving Job.. ... 14 

14. Marital Status of Employed and Owners of Businesses. 15 

15. Youth's Evaluation of the Extent to Which High School 

Training Helped in Succeeding on a Job 15 

16. Vocational Courses Taken in High School and Found Useful 

on Jobs by Girls _ _ 16 

17. Occupational Classification of Full-Time Jobs Held at Time of Reply 16 

18. Occupational Classification of Jobs Held by Alabama Girls during 

First Year Out of High School and Approximately Five Years Later 17 

19. Weekly Wages Earned by Girls on Full-Time Jobs... 17 

20. Median and Mean Weekly Wages Earned by Girls on Full-time 
Jobs Held during the Year 1946 according to Occupational 
Classification of Jobs Held 18 

21. Occupational Classification of Kind of Work Considered Most 
Desirable -- - 18 

22. Definite Decision as to Future Vocation by Married Women 
(including widowed and divorced) ._ 19 

23. Definite Decision as to Future Vocation by Single Women 19 

24. Chief Motive in Choosing Vocation, for Those With Definite 

Choice of Vocation other than Housewife .- 20 

25. Chief Help in Vocational Planning for Those with Definite Choice 

of Vocation Other than Housewife _ 20 

26. Type of Institution Attended for Formal Education beyond 

High School ....21 

27. Frequency of Mention of Subjects in High School Curriculum 
Considered Most Helpful in College Work or on Jobs 21 

28. Frequency of Mention of Subjects in High School Curriculum 
Considered Least Helpful in College Work or on Jobs 22 

29. Frequency of Mention of Subjects in High School Curriculum 
Considered to Have Contributed to Enjoyment and Understanding 

of Life 22 

30. Subjects Not Studied in Lligh School and Later Regretted 22 

31. Reasons for Regret for Not Having Studied Certain Subjects in 

High School 23 

6 



Alabama Girls After High School 



HISTORY 

In 1944 the Vocational Advisory Service of Alabama College published a 
study entitled "After High School-What?" This was an interim report on 
a "Follow-up Study of 1939-40 and 1940-41 Graduates and Drop-outs of Six 
Typical Alabama High Schools." The study had been originally conceived 
to cover five years, but conditions set up by World War II made its con- 
tinuance impractical and largely nullified its purposes. So the study was dis- 
continued after the first two years. 

In 1947 it was decided not to revive this study as yet since post-war con- 
ditions were still too abnormal for findings to be useful in vocational guid- 
ance. But it was felt that pertinent and interesting information would result 
from ascertaining what had been the experience during the war and first 
post-war years of the girls involved in the earlier study. 

POPULATION STUDIED 

Questionnaires were mailed out in January, 1947, to all girls who had been 
originally contacted in 1940 or 1941, for whom it had been possible to secure 
present addresses. The record by schools of contacts and returns of schedules 
is as follows : 



Table 1 
Record by Schools of Contacts and Return of Schedules 





Contacted 


No Address 


Contacted 


Schedules Returned 


School 


In 1940-41 


in 1947 


in 1947 


Number 


Per Cent 


Coffeeville 


20 


1 


19 


6 


32 


Greensboro 


55 


7 


48 


17 


35 


Holtville 


61 


6 

4 


55 

71 


19 
35 


35 


Lanett 


75 


35 


Montevallo 


75 


7 


68 


34 


50 


Woodlawn 


431 


120 


311 


158 


51 


Total 


717 


145 


572 


269 


47 



Of the 269 who replied and are included in this study 237 had completed 
high school, and 32 had dropped out before graduation. 



MIGRATION 

While Alabama boys during this period were taken all over the world 
through war_ service, the Alabama girls covered by this study also scattered 
over the entire United States though to a large extent they remained in the 
State, or in nearby Southern States. That the home ties were permanently 
strong is indicated by the fact that at the time of replying to the question- 
naire 25 per cent of the girls studied from town and rural schools were living 
in the home town and another 48 per cent in other Alabama towns. Of the 
Woodlawn High School giris replying 73 per cent were living in Birming- 
ham, and 7 per cent elsewhere in Alabama. 



Table 2 sets out the replies to the request to list "all the places in which 
you have lived since you left high school" 



Table 2 
Residence Since Graduation 

Alabama Only Several States (including Alabama) 



Same Other 

Location as than in 
School High School Home Town Two Three Four Five Six Seven Eight Total 

Coffeeville .. 5 .... 1 .. 6 

Greensboro 1 10 4 1 .... 1 .. .. 17 

Holtville .. 8 5 2 .. 3 .. 1 .. 19 

Lanett 7 5 13 6 1 3 .... 35 

Montevallo 2 15 7 6 3 1 ...... 34 

Town and — — _____ — — 

rural schools.... 10 43 29 15 5 7 1 1 111 

Woodlawn 52 6 43 18 23 8 4 3 1 158 

Total 62 49 72 33 28 15 5 4 1 269 

It will be noted that 53, or 48 per cent, of the girls from town and rural 
high schools never lived elsewhere during the war years but in Alabama, 
while this was true for 37 per cent of Woodlawn High School graduates. 
With the exception of Lanett (a mill town) the girls of the town and rural 
schools however almost without exception at seme time lived elsewhere than 
the community where they attended high school. Fifty-two per cent of the 
girls of the town and rural high schools left the State at some time, and 
63 per cent of Woodlawn High School girls left Alabama, at least tempor- 
arily. 

Table 3 lists the states other than Alabama in which those included in 
this study had resided at some time. As indicated in Table 2 a considerable 
number lived in several states and this is reflected in the data below. 



Table 3 
States in Which Residence Held (Other than Alabama) 



Number Studied 
Who Resided 
State in State 



NEW ENGLAND 11 

Connecticut 3 

Maine 2 

Massachusetts 3 

New Hampshire 2 

Rhode Island 1 

MIDDLE ATLANTIC 20 

New Jersey 4 

New York 11 

Pennsylvania 5 

NORTHEAST CENTRAL 26 

Illinois 8 

Indiana « 5 

Michigan 3 

Ohio 8 

Wisconsin 2 

NORTHWEST CENTRAL 23 

Iowa 3 

Kansas •.. t 

Minnesota 1 

Missouri 7 

Nebraska ........ 4 

South Dakota 1 



Table 3 (Continued) 
States in Which Residence Held (Other than Alabama) 



Number Studied 
Who Resided 
State in State 



SOUTH ATLANTIC 134 

Delaware 1 

District of Columbia 20 

Florida .....33 

Georgia 33 

Maryland • 8 

North Carolina 13 

South Carolina .. .10 

Virginia 16 

SOUTHEAST CENTRAL. 22 

Kentucky 3 

Mississippi 9 

Tennessee 10 

SOUTHWEST CENTRAL. 41 

Arkansas 3 

Louisiana 16 

Oklahoma 8 

Texas 14 

MOUNTAIN IS 

Arizona 6 

Colorado . 4 

Nevada 1 

New Mexico 4 

Utah 4 

PACIFIC 41 

California 37 

Washington 4 

FOREIGN 1 

Mexico 1 



MARITAL STATUS 



The present marital status of the girls replying is set out in Table 4. It 
is not surprising to find that 79 per cent have married. But it is unex- 
pected to note that in this number only one has the present status of 
"widowed;" this was a war casualty. Three other girls have been widowed, 
but since remarried. In two of these cases the first husband died in military 
service. 

All of the six divorces reported have occurred since 1943. In two cases 
the former husbands were in military service at the time of marriage. 

Table 4 
Present Marital Status 

Status Coffeeville Greensboro Holtville Lanett Montevallo Woodlawn Total 



34 


57 


117 


202 


2 


3 


1 


1 



Single . 2 6 7 8 

Married 6 13 13 27 26 

Re-married . 1 

Widowed 

Divorced . 1 .1 .. 4 

Total 6 17 19 35 34 158 



TIME AND PLACE OF MARRIAGE 

In Table 5 the years out of high school before marriage are shown. These 
data give no indication of any tendency to rush into "war marriages." Of 



the 212 (first) marriages, in only 85 cases was the man in military service 
at the time of marriage. It is possible that postponed marriage plans caused 
the even distribution of the number of marriages over the first five years 
after leaving high school. 



Table 5 
Years Out of High School Before Marriage 



Interval Since 






Number 


Who Married 






Leaving' School 


Coffeeville 


Greensboro 


Holtville 


Lanett 


Montevallo 


Woodlawn 


Total 


Under one year 




5 


1 
4 

5 
4 
1 
2 
1 


5 


6 

7 

13 
1 
4 
3 
4 


24 
19 

43 
15 
23 
11 
20 


45 
36 

81 
29 


Pre-war years 


3 
2 


5 

4 
4 

1 


12 
3 

2 
3 

7 


Three years 

Four years 


1 


34 

19 
34 


War years 

Six years 

No date 


9 


9 

1 


8 


15 
1 


12 

1 


69 
10 
2 


116 

13 
2 


Total married 


6 


15 


13 


28 


26 


124 


212 



It was felt of interest to check as to where these marriages took place. 
War conditions to some extent apparently affected this decision. Of the 208 
marriages for which this information was given, 164 took place in Alabama. 
Of the other 44, 36 were in the Southern states of Georgia (15), Florida (5), 
Mississippi (4), Texas (3), Virginia (2), South Carolina (2), North Carolina 
(1), Arkansas (1), Tennessee (1), Maryland (1), and Oklahoma (1), and the 
other eight marriages took place — one each — in Illinois, Ohio, Iowa, Indiana, 
Missouri, Utah, New York, and Washington, D. C. 



HUSBAND'S OCCUPATION 

Table 6 shows the result of a check as to whether there had been a change 
in the occupation of the husband from that in which he was engaged at 
the time of marriage. The numbers in parentheses indicate those who had 
changed from military service to a civilian occupation. 



Table 6 
Change in Husband's Occupation since Marriage 



Same as at Changed since Unemployed 

School Marriage Marriage Ex- Soldier Total 

Coffeeville 2 4(1) . 6 

Greensboro 2 12 (10) 1* 15 

Holtville 4 9(5) . 13 

Lanett 7 21 (10) . 28 

Montevallo 11 15 ( 8) . 26 

Woodlawn 35 85 (51) . 120* 

Total 61 146 (85) 1 208 



•Four did not give information. 

Note: Numbers in parentheses indicate those in military service at time of marriage. 



10 



In Table 7 a comparison is made, using the classifications of the Dictionary 
of Occupational Titles*, between the occupational distribution of present 
jobs held by husbands with those held by the fathers of these same girls at 
the time they finished high school. This indicates a distinct rise in the socio- 
economic status of this group. Twenty-two per cent of the husbands were 
engaged in professional and managerial occupations whereas this had been 
true of only 14 per cent of the fathers. The 17 per cent of husbands who 
were students were in many cases preparing for professional careers, so 
eventually the husbands in this classification will be greatly augmented. The 
proportions of husbands and fathers in clerical and sales occupations and 
in craft and manual work are quite similar, though husbands tend away 
from craft and manual and towards the sales jobs. It seems significant that 
such a very small number of husbands was engaged in agricultural and 
related pursuits, only 1.9 per cent, while 11.3 per cent of the fathers were 
so engaged. It should be noted that only nine husbands were still in military 
service. 

Table 7 

Occupational Distribution of Present Jobs Held by Husbands 

Contrasted with 1940-41 Occupations of Fathers 



Occupations of Husbands 
in 1946 



Occupations of Fathers 
in 1940-41 



Type of Work Number 

Professional and managerial 

occupations 46 

Professional and semi- 
professional 25 

Managerial and official 21 

Clerical and sales occupations 40 

Clerical 14 

Sales 26 

Service occupations 3 

Agricultural and related occupations 4 

Craft and manual occupations 66 

Unemployed 2 

Deceased 1 

No reply 5 

Military service 9 

Students 36 

Total 212 



Per Cent 



Number 



Per Cent 



21.7 



29 



13.7 



11.8 


17 


8.0 


9.9 


12 


5.7 


18.8 


35 


16.5 


6.6 


15 


7.1 


12,2 


20 


9.4 


1.4 


12 


5.7 


1.9 


24 


11.3 


31.1 


76 


35.8 


1.0 


2 


1.0 


.5 


24 


11.3 


2.4 


10 


4.7 


4.2 






17.0 







NUMBER OF CHILDREN 

Table 8 sets out the number of children reported for the 212 first marri- 
ages. These average .76 child per marriage. Table 9 shows that the average 
number of children in families with children was 1.3 child. 

Table 8 
Total Number of Children 



Number of Children according to Date of Marriage 



School 

Coffeeville. 
Greensboro. 
Holtville... 

Lanett 

Montevallo. 
Woodlawn . , 

Total... 



1939 


1940 


1941 


1942 


1943 


1944 


1945 


1946 


Total 






2 


2 










4 


. 1 


4 


3 


1 


6 




1 




16 




1 


2 


5 


1 


1 


1 




11 




3 


6 


5 


2 


2 


3 




21 


2 


5 


4 


5 


1 


2 


2 




21 




17 


22 


13 


17 


13 


5 


2 


89 


. 3 


30 


39 


31 


27 


18 


12 


2 


162 



^Dictionary of Occupational Titles. Part II. Titles and Codes. United States 
Department of Labor, Washington, D. C. : 1939. 



11 



Table 9 
Number of Children per Marriage with Children 



School 



Number Marriages with : 



One Child Two Children Three Children 



Average Number 

Children in Family 

with Children 



Coffeeville 

Greensboro 

Holtville 


7 

9 


2 
3 
1 


Lanett 

Montevallo 

Woodlawn . 

Total 


13 

9 

53 

91 


4 
6 
15 

31 



2.0 
1.5 
1.1 
1.2 
1.4 
1.3 



The number of childless marriages is set out in table 10. 



Table 10 
Childless Marriages 







Per Cent Total 


School 


Number 


Marriages 


Coffeeville 


4 


67 


Greensboro 


4 


27 


Holtville 


3 


23 


Lanett 


11 


39 


Montevallo 


11 


42 


Woodlawn 


54 


43 


Total 


87 


41 



OCCUPATIONAL STATUS 

At the time of securing the data for this study 139, or 52 per cent, of the 
girls stated they were "employed at home without wages." Almost as many, 
120, or 45 per cent, were engaged in remunerative employment. Twenty girls 
were continuing their education, twelve of these also holding jobs. Table 11 
sets out the occupational status of the 269 girls in this study when they 
returned the questionnaires, the data including the 12 girls who were "in 
school part time" and also "employed for wages outside of home" in both 
categories. 

Table 11 
Occupational Status at Time Questionnaire Returned 



Nature of 
Occupation 

In school full time.. 
In school part time., 

In Army or Navy 

Employed for wages 

outside of home 

Employed for wages 

at home 

Employed at home 

without wages 

Operating a farm or 

business for self... 
Unemployed 

(leave of absence). 

Total 



Coffeeville Greensboro Holtville Lanett Montevallo Woodlawn Total 



4(1) 10 



17(1) 



22 



37 



1 


5 

7 
1 


8 

12 
1 


13(1) 


69(1) 


115(3) 


KD 


KD 


2(2) 


19 


79 


139 




2 


2 




1 


2 



34(2) 



165(2) 



281(5) 



Note: Numbers in parentheses Indicate part-time jobs. 

12 



The one girl in military service was a Navy Nurse who enlisted in April, 
1945. Of the 269 girls in this study only 11 had at any time been members 
of any branch of the women's armed services. 

Of the two girls who stated they were "employed for wages at home" one 
was engaged in giving part-time help to her husband who is a newspaper 
branch manager and the other was giving private piano lessons in her home 
in the afternoons. 

The two girls who were "operating a business for self" were both engaged 
in beauty parlor work, one as owner of her shop, and the other as part 
owner. 

It was significant of the prevailing full employment situation that not 
a single girl studied wanted a jcb and was unable to locate one. Two girls 
were on temporary leave of absence from jobs held for several years and 
classed themselves as "unemployed." 



AID IN SECURING JOBS 

Inquiry was made as to the "agency that helped most in securing a job 
during the past year," that is, 1946. Table 12 shows a comparison of the 
expressed opinions on this point for 1946 and for 1940-41, as given in the 
publication "After High School— What?"* 



Table 12 
Evaluation of Youth as to Agency that Helped Most in 
Securing Job 



Per Cent Total Replies 

Agency 1940-41 1946 

Own effort 42.5 54.0 

Member of immediate family 19.6 2.3 

Influence of a friend 19.0 19.5 

School authorities 7.9 9.2 

Influence of relatives 3.2 1.2 

Public employment service 3.1 4.6 

Commercial employment agency .8 2.3 

Answer to advertisement .7 4.6 

Civil service examinations .5 2.3 

Others (such as NYA, IMCA) 2.7 

100.0 100.0 



The data in Table 12 show : an interesting development in self-reliance, 
particulary noteworthy since the 1946 replies are from girls only and those 
in 1940-41 included both boys and girls. The immediate family has dropped 
in importance as a means of securing a job from 19.6 per cent to 2.3 per 
cent. While claims that the job was secured by "own effort" increased from 
42.5 per cent in 1940-41 to 54.0 per cent in 1946 even more significant is the 
use of the social agencies of employment services, public and private, civil 
service examinations, and advertisements, which as a group increased from 
5.1 per cent to 13.8 per cent. It was somewhat surprising to find the "school 
authorities" given more credit for aid in securing recent jobs by graduates 
of some years standing than in the previous study by those just out of 
high school. The steadiness with which approximately one-fifth in both 



* After High School— What f, Rochelle Rodd Gachet, Director, Vocational 
Advisory Service, Alabama College, Montevallo, Ala., October, 1944, p. 14. 

13 



periods claimed their jobs came through "influence of a friend" gives 
further evidence that job-seekers should consider their friends a normal 
means of securing a, job. 



REASONS FOR LEAVING JOBS 

A contrast of the reasons for leaving recent jobs held in 1946 and first 
jobs in 1940-41* is given in Table 13. 



Table 
Chief Reason for 


13 
Leaving 


Job 




Reason for Leaving 






Per Cent Total Replies 
1940-41* 1946 


To make a home 

To take a better job 

To return to school 

End of temporary job 

Slack business conditions 

Too little pay 

Disliked the work 






.. 26.1 
.. 18.4 
.. 17.9 
.. 9.3 
.. 8.5 
.. 3.9 
.. 3.4 
.. 3.1 
.. 2.6 
.. 1.7 
• 5.1 

100.0 




40.2 
28.1 

13^4 

"i.'2 
9.8 


To look for better job 






1.2 


Poor working: conditions 

11 1 health or accident 






"6.1 








100.0 



Seven of the 11 temporary jobs which ended in 1946 were with war or- 
ganizations. These included three jobs with U. S. Marines, one at an Army 
Air Base, one with Ordnance Department, one with War Assets Administra- 
tion, and one in an Army hospital. Two others were war connected, one be- 
ing in a "government-owned plant," which was closed down, and another 
in a railroad ticket office. The two other "temporary" jobs were receptionist 
at an air show, and field work in a research study. 

MARITAL STATUS OF THOSE EMPLOYED 

A check on the marital status of those employed (full-time or part-time) 
and owners of businesses at the time of replying to the questionnaire de- 
veloped interesting information. This is set out in Table 14. According to 
the Women's Bureau, "The growing importance of married women workers 
continues a long-time trend in our industrial economy."** The situation in 
Alabama, as evidenced by the girls in this study, shares in this trend since 
only 42.5 per cent of those working were single and 51.7 per cent had the 
present status of married, while 5.8 per cent were widowed or divorced. 
Census estimates for the U. S. as of June, 1946,** show that of the women in 
the labor force 40.2 per cent were single, 44.3 married and 15.5 widowed or 
divorced. Therefore in Alabama in the early months of 1947 there were— in 
this group studied — a considerably larger proportion of married women living 
with their husbands than was the case of the similar classification according 
to national data in 1946. However because of the small number of widowed 
and divorced in the Alabama group studied, the national figure of 59.8 per 
cent combining married, widowed, and divorced exceeds the combined Ala- 
bama figure of 57.5 per cent. 



* After High School — What?, op. cit., p. 20. 
**Facts on Women Workers, August 31, 1947. U. S. Department of Labor, 
Women's Bureau. 

14 



Table 14 
Marital Status of Employed and Owners of Business 



Coffeeville Greensboro Holtville Lanett Montevallo Wbodlawn Total 

1 6 6 

3 2 4 9 

1 .. 1 



16 



Status 

Single — 
Married.. 
Divorced, 
Widowed 

Total. 



7 


31 


51 


7 


37 


62 




4 


6 




1 


1 


L4 


73 


120 



Of the 57 single girls in this study (See Table 4) 51 are shown in Table 
14 as employed. But in the remaining six we look in vain to find a "lady of 
leisure." Four of these six were in school when they replied; one, with a 
background of four years of college, had been discharged only a few months 
from the Marine Corps and was not as yet seeking a job; and the ether 
girl was serving as the housekeeper for her family while her mother worked 
and so classed herself as "employed at home without wages," the usual 
status of the housewife. 



SCHOOL TRAINING FOR JOBS 

In che 1940-41 study inquiry had been made as to the extent to which high 
school training had helped in succeeding on a job. It is interesting to note 
in Table 15 the greatly increased appreciation of the general practical value 
of school preparation. Also that of the 269 girls in the 1946 study only 27 
had never held a job for pay. 



Table 15 

Youth's Evaluation of the Extent to Which High School Training 

Helped in Succeeding on a Job 



Evaluation of Training 



Youth Who Had Held Jobs 



1940-41 Group * 



1946 Group 



Per Cent Number Per Cent 



Great help 402 52.2 

Fair amount of help 192 24.9 

Little help 69 9.0 

No help 61 7.9 

No reply to question 46 6.0 

Total 770 100.0 



169 
41 
3 



242 



69.9 
16.9 
1.2 



The questionnaire had included an inquiry as to the "vocational" courses 
taken in high school which had been used in any jobs held. A check was 
made as to these courses taken while in high school by the 269 girls involved 
in this study. The number of such courses taken and the opinions of these 
girls as to their usefulness in jobs held are set out in Table 16, together 
with the per cent of courses taken found useful on jobs in the period 1940-41 
by the 625 girls in the earlier study.** 



* After High School— What f, op. cit, p. 21. 
** After High School— What?, op. cit., p. 22. 

15 



Table 16 

Vocational Courses Taken in High School and Found 

Useful on Jobs by Girls 



Vocational Courses 





Period 


1940-46 


Per 

Coi 
as 


od 1940-41* 




Courses Used 


irses Used 


Courses 




Per Cent 


Per Cent 


Taken 


Number 


Courses Taken 


Cou 


rses Taken 


78 


43 


55.1 




30.6 


90 


60 


66.7 




37.6 


146 


108 


74.0 




41.4 


11 


3 


27.3 




21.4 


128 


59 


46.1 




13.9 


4 


2 


50.0 




50.0 


11 


8 


72.7 




38.5 


2 








66.7 



Bookkeeping 

Shorthand 

Typing 

Shop 

Home economics 

Cosmetology 

Salesmanship 

Other 

Total 470 



31.1 



TYPES OF JOBS HELD 

Classification of full-time jobs held at the time of reply to the question- 
naire is given in Table 17. The classifications used are those of the Dic- 
tionary of Occupational Titles. 

Table 17 
Occupational Classification of Full-time Jobs Held at Time of Reply 



Types of Work 

Professional and man- 
agerial occupations 
Professional 
Semi-professional 
Managerial and 

official 

Clerical and sales 

occupations 

Clerical 

Sales 

Service occupations... 
Agriculture and re- 
lated occupations.... 
Craft and manual 

occupations 

Information not 
given 

Total 



Coffeeville Greensboro Holtville Lanett Montevallo Woodlawn Total 



71 



2 

2 

115 



The 32 jobs held which were classified under "professional and managerial" 
occupations included: 11 teachers; 3 nurses; in the field of business, an 
auditor, two department heads, and an assistant credit manager; in scientific 
work, a laboratory technician, a pharmacist, a medical assistant, a psycho- 
metrist, two dietitians; two social workers; a librarian; a reporter; a copy 
reader; a script recorder; a director of religious education; and a draftsman. 

Clerks, including such specialized work as billing, statistical, abstract, pay- 
roll, and timekeeper, were the largest group in the "clerical'' classification, 
numbering 36. This classification also included 26 secretaries and steno- 
graphers, 4 bookkeepers, 2 telephone operators, a receptionist, and a comp- 
tometer and a teletype operator. 



* After High School— What ?, op. pit., p. 22. 

16 



The four engaged in "sales" occupations included an advertisement solicitor, 
an insurance agent, a media buyer, and a saleswoman of gas appliances. 

Of the four engaged in "service" occupations three were beauticians, 
and one was a stewardess for an air-line. 

The two "craft" jobs were packer in a bakery and an embroidery worker 
at a textile plant. 

An interesting comparison shows in Table 18 between the types of jobs 
(both part-time and full-time) held during the first year out of high school* 
and the jobs held approximately five years later. In both cases the data are 
for girls only, but 425 jobs held by 320 girls are included in the 1940-41 data 
and 225 jobs held by 163 girls in 1946. 



Table 18 
Occupational Classification of Jobs Held by Alabama Girls During 
First Year Out of High School and Approximately Five Years Later 





Jobs Held (part-time and full-time) 




1940-41* 1946 


Types of Work 


Number Per Cent Number Per Cent 



Professional and managerial 

occupations 3 .7 

Clerical and sales occupations 2S5 67.1 

Service occupations 31 7.3 

Agriculture and kindred 

Craft and manual occupations 57 13.4 

Federal relief agencies 40 9.4 

Information not given 9 2.1 

Total jobs 425 100.0 



59 

148 

7 



225 



26.2 

65.8 

3.1 

*4.0 

".9 

100.0 



EARNINGS ON JOBS 

The median weekly wage earned on full-time jobs held during the year 
1946 was $35.00. This approximately triples the $12.60 median wage earned 
by girls on full-time jobs in 1940-41 during the first year out of high school.** 
The main reasons for this large increase are two-fold : the normal increase 
in earning capacity through experience and advancement into better-paying 
jobs, but also there is reflected here the effect of inflated salaries following 
the war period. Table 19 sets out a summary of the wages earned. 

Table 19 
Weekly Wages Earned by Girls on Full-time Jobs 



1940-41** 



1946 



Weekly Wage 

Less than $10.00 

$10.00 to $14.99 

$15.00 to $19.99 

$20.00 to $24.99 

$25.00 to $29.99 

$30.00 to $34.99 

$35.00 to $39.99 

$40.00 to $44.99 

$45.00 to $49.99 

$50.00 to $54.99 

$55.00 to $59.99 

$60.00 and over 

No information 

Total full-time jobs 



Number 


Per Cent 


46 


18.2 


123 


48.6 


62 


24.5 


6 


2.4 



Number Per Cent 



10 
253 



1.2 



3.9 
100.0 



1.4 



18 


8.6 


47 


22.5 


52 


24.9 


26 


12.4 


20 


9.6 


13 


6.2 


a 


1.0 


4 


1.9 


16 


7.7 



100.0 



* After High School— What f, op. cit., p. 15. 
** After High School— What?, op. cit., p. 18. 



17 



In Table 20 both the median and mean wages are shown according to oc- 
cupational classification. The number of jobs involved in the "service" and 
"craft" classifications are too few to justify any conclusion for these. It is 
interesting to note that for the girls studied "clerical and sales" jobs are 
providing practically as much in money income as occupations classed as 
"professional and managerial" at a period approximately five years after 
leaving high school. 

Table 20 

Median and Mean Weekly Wages Earned by Girls on Full-time Jobs 

Held During the Year 1946 according to Occupational 

Classification of Jobs Held 

Types of "Work Number of Jobs Median Wage Mean Wage 

Professional and managerial 

occupations 55 ( 2) $36.00 $37.74 

Clerical and sales occupations 137 ( 7) $35.00 $36.42 

Service occupations 6(3) $38.75 $41.42 

Agricultural and related 

occupations 

Craft and manual occupations 9 ( 2) $30.00 $29.96 

Information not given 2(2) 

All types of work 209 (16) $35.00 $36.63 

Note: Numbers in parentheses indicate number of jobs for which no wage informa- 
tion furnished; the median and mean calculations are for the total number of 
jobs less these. 

VOCATIONAL PLANS FOR FUTURE 

The modern trend for married women to think in terms of continuing to 
engage in remunerative work after marriage is further revealed in the data 
presented in the following pages. The thinking of married and single women 
regarding occupations seems quite similar in general. 

KIND OF WORK CONSIDERED MOST DESIRABLE 

The earlier study* had developed, in response to the question, "Regardless 
of available opportunities, what kind of work would you most like to do?," 
that there was a wide-spread attitude that the professional and clerical-sales 
occupations were quite the most desirable. As shown in Table 21, in the 1946 
replies this attitude still prevails, both for the married and single girls. 
It is interesting to note that only 35, or 16.5 per cent, of those married 
expressed a preference for "housewife" as the desired occupation, though 
probably a large proportion of the considerable number of those married 
not replying to this question felt similarly well satisfied. 

Table 21 

Occupational Classification of Kind of Work Considered 

Most Desirable 

Kind of Work Single Married Total 

Professional and managerial 

occupations - 26 63 89 

Clerical and sales occupations 15 40 55 

Service occupations . .. -1 3 4 

Agricultural and related 

occupations .- . * 

Craft and manual occupations 2 »-....<•• 2 

Housewife '.. 1 35 36 

Information not given 12 71 83 

Total choices 57 212 - 269 



* After High School— What ?, op. cit., pp. 24-25. 

18 



DECISION AS TO FUTURE VOCATION 

In Tables 22 and 23 are shown for both married and single women whether 
decision has been reached as to future vocational plans. It is reassuring 
that within approximately five years after leaving high school so many were 
engaged in occupations that were satisfying. It is assumed those whose 
decision was "housewife" are in this class. It will be noted that the number 
who had not decided, or did not reply, to this question varied considerably 
as between schools. 



37 


75 


18 


33 


8 

S 
53 


9 

19 
76 



Table 22 

Definite Decision as to Future Vocation by Married Women 
(including widowed and divorced) 

Vocation Coffeeville Greensboro Holtville Lanett Montevallo Woodlawn Total 

Housewife 4 5 9 11 9 

Same as most de- 
sirable occupation*. . 3 3 6(1) 3(1) 

Not most desirable ; • ■ 

but present 
occupation . .. . ; . ,. 1 

Not decided. . 4 .. 6 1 

No reply 2 3 1 5 12 

Total married.... 6 15 13 28 26 124 212 

*For all except the numbers in parentheses this is also the PRESENT job. 



Table 23 

Definite Decision as to Future Vocation by Single Women 

Vocation Coffeeville Greensboro Holtville Lanett Montevallo Woodlawn Total 

Housewife . .. .. ... 

Same as most de- 
sirable occupation*. . 1 4 4 (2) ■ 4 10 23 

Not most desirable •■ 

but present 

occupation . .. 2 .2 9 13 

Not decided . 1 .. 3 . 7 11 

No reply .• .. 2 8 10 

Total Single . 2 6 7 8 34 57 

*For all except the numbers in parentheses this is also the PRESENT job. 



CHIEF MOTIVE IN CHOOSING VOCATION 

In Table 24 are set out for married and single women with definite choice 
of a vocation other than housewife the chief motives in choosing, and a 
comparison of these with the motives given by 400 girls in the earlier study."*" 
The realistic recognition of a job as a means of earning a living was the 
most frequently mentioned "chief motive" in both periods. It is noteworthy 
that a larger proportion of married than single women gave this as their 
reason for choice. In 1946 "use of special talent or interest" had yielded 
second place to "service to humanity," an interesting indication of a clearer 
self-evaluation. 



t After High School— What?, op. cit., p. 24. 

19 



Married 


Single 


Total 




i 


1 


10 


ii 


21 


3 


4 


7 


10 


10 


20 


17 


10 


27 



Table 24 

Chief Motive in Choosing Vocation For Those with Definite 

Choice of Vocation Other than Housewife 



Chief Motive 1940-41f 

Fame 

Social standing 2 

Service to humanity 64 

Good financial rewards 30 

Use of special talent or interest 135 

Means of earning a living 156 

Other motives 7 

No reply 6 2 .. 2 

Total girls with 
vocational choice 400 42 36 78 

CHIEF HELP IN VOCATIONAL PLANNING 

Just as the "immediate family" and other relatives had ceased to be im- 
portant aids in securing jobs (See Table 12), so had these greatly lessened 
in importance as the chief help in vocational planning since the 1940-41 
study. Separate data are not available in the earlier study on this point for 
girls only, but 22.1 per cent of the youth studied at that time (both boys and 
girls)* had their greatest help from their family whereas only 15.4 per cent 
claimed this to be the case in 1946. It is interesting that more married than 
single girls acknowledged this influence. The school-related influences 
(teachers, principal, counselor, and courses studied) represent 39.7 per cent, 
whereas in 1940-41 these were 17.5 per cent of the total. Employers, of 
course, have increased in importance as aids in vocational planning. 

Table 25 

Chief Help in Vocational Planning For Those with Definite 

Choice of Vocation Other than Housewife 

Person or Influence Married Single Total 

Parents 8 3 11 

Other relatives 1 1 

Friends 5 4 9 

A teacher 3 1 4 

School principal 1 1 

School counselor 

Something you read 1 1 

Courses you studied 13 13 26 

Employer , 6 5 11 

Other (including "self") 7 5 12 

No reply ,. .. 2 2 

Total girls with 
vocational choice 42 36 78 

ATTITUDE TOWARDS EDUCATION 

It is felt there is some validity to the evaluation by youth five years 
out of high school of the training received there. The replies to several 
inquiries in the questionnaire on this point are therefore presented in some 
detail. 

FORMAL EDUCATION BEYOND HIGH SCHOOL 

Of the 269 girls studied, 72, or 27 per cent, had completed some type of 
formal education beyond high school. Twenty girls had the status of being 

* After High School—What?, op. cit., p. 23. 
t After High School— What?, op. cit., p. 24. 

20 



still in school (See Table 11). Fifty others had taken additional training but 
not completed this for a variety of reasons. Table 26 sets out by type of 
institution all schools attended, even though only for a short while in some 
cases. Twenty-eight girls had attended more than one institution, in several 
cases as many as three. 



Table 26 

Type of Institution Attended for Formal Education 

Beyond High School 



Type of Institution 

College of liberal arts or science.. 
Other professional school (art, etc.) 
Technical college or trade school.. 
Normal school or teachers college.. 

Nurse training school 

School of commerce or business 

Evening school 

Apprentice training 

Correspondence course 

Post-grad high school 

Post-grad college 

In-service training 

Total attendance 



Training 


Training 


In 


Training 


Completed 


Dropped 


at 


Present 


41 


25 




6 


3 


1 




1 


6 


2 




1 


1 


2 






7 


2 




2 


14 


26 




4 


1 


6 
2 




4 




1 




1 


1 


1 






8 


1 




.. 





1 




1 



87 



70 



EVALUATION OF USEFULNESS OF SUBJECTS 
STUDIED IN HIGH SCHOOL 

The questionnaire made inquiry as to, "What subjects studied or activities 
in high school have helped you in your college work, or on your job?" This 
same question had been asked in the earlier survey* and Tables 27 and 28 
present a comparison of the evaluations in the two replies of the 269 girls 
studied in 1946 for those subjects mentioned at least ten times. 



Table 27 

Frequency of Mention of Subjects in High School Curriculum 

Considered Most Helpful in College Work or on Jobs. 



Subject 



Mentioned First Total 

Before Mention Mention Omitted 

in 1940-41 in 1946 1946 in 1946 



English 88 

Typewriting 56 

Mathematics 34 

Stenography 31 

Home economics VI 

Bookkeeping 8 

History 12 

Speech 10 

Latin 9 

Science — general 2 

Chemistry 4 

Music 3 



41 


129 


56 


30 


86 


34 


36 


70 


31 


17 


48 


20 


23 


35 


19 


23 


31 


19 


15 


27 


14 


10 


20 


9 


7 


16 


8 


11 


13 


8 


6 


10 


5 


7 


10 


4 



* After High School — What?, op. cit., p. 26. 

21 



Table 28 

Frequency of Mention of Subjects in High School Curriculum 

Considered Least Helpful in College Work or on Jobs 





Mentioned 


First 


Total 




Subject 


Before 


Mention 


Mention 


Omitted 




in 1940-41 


in 1946 


1946 


in 1946 


History 


21 


30 


61 


37 


Science— general 


4 


20 


24 


20 


Chemistry 


6 


10 


16 


8 


Mathematics 


5 


6 


11 


19 


Spanish 


2 


9 


11 


8 , 


Latin 


3 


8 


11 


6 


Geometry 


4 


6 


10 


6 


Biology 


2 


8 


10 


11 



One-third did not reply to the question, "What subjects studied or activi- 
ties in high school have especially contributed to your enjoyment and 
understanding of life?" The replies seemed to indicate a lack of full under- 
standing of the question, and varied markedly from one high school to 
another. Table 29 sets out all subjects and activities mentioned ten times 
or more. 

Table 29 

Frequency of Mention of Subjects in High School Curriculum 

Considered to Have Contributed to Enjoyment 

and Understanding of Life 

Number of Times 
Subject Mentioned 

English 75 

Home economics 58 

History 34 

Clubs 26 

Music 24 

Literature 23 

Speech 16 

General science 15 

Biology 13 

Physical education 11 



SUBJECTS NOT STUDIED AND LATER REGRETTED 

The replies to the inquiry in the questionnaire as to "What subjects 
(whether given at your high school or not) do you regret not having studied 
in high school?" offer evidence that there are few subjects in the curricu- 
lum that do not in adult life become of importance to some one. In Table 
30 the subjects "regretted" are set out, by high schools, in broad groupings 
for which there were ten or more mentions. 

Table 30 
Subjects Not Studied in High School and Later Regretted 

Subject Fields Coffeeville Greensboro Holtville Lanett Montevallo Woodlawn Total 

Commercial 5 15 3 19 18 70 130 

Typing 3 6 1 4 6 23 43 

Shorthand 2 6 2 9 7 24 50 

Bookkeeping . 3 4 4 16 27 

Law . . ... 1 3 4 

Miscellaneous . . 2 4 6 

Foreign Language 2 8 5 12 9 21 57 

(French, Spanish, 
Latin) 

Home economics . . 2 .. 2 24 28 

Sciences 2 1 1 2 4 15 25 

Physics 1 1 . .. .. 3 5 

Biology . . ... 1 5 6 

Chemistry 1 . 12 3 7 14 

Mathematics 1 . 2 4 5 4 16 

Speech 1 1 1 .. .. 10 13 

Music . 1 .. 2 8 11 

22 



Number 


Rank 




1910-41* 


1946 


1940-41* 


1946 


88 


94 


2 


1 


60 


74 


4 


2 


167 


40 


1 


3 


&2 


14 


3 


4 


49 


12 


6 


5 


48 


11 


7 


6 


13 


3 


9 


7 



In Table 31 there is set out a comparison of the reasons for regret for 
not having studied certain subjects in high school as stated by the girls in 
this study and the larger group of girls in the earlier study.* Reasons were 
not always given so the data for 1946 in this table and Table 30 do not 
correspond. 



Table 31 

Reasons for Regret for Not Having Studied Certain 

Subjects in High School 

Times Mentioned 
Reason for Regret 



Personal use or interest 

Needed on job 

Needed in college 

Required for job I like 

yWd in getting job 

Useful in any kind of work 

Need to meet people more easily 

Help in future job 24 

More jobs available with this skill 59 



CONCLUSIONS 

The direct effects of World War II on the 269 girls studied were not con- 
spicuous in the data. Only three were widowed through war casualties. In 40 
per cent of the marriages the man was in military service at the time of 
marriage but only 21 per cent of the marriages took place outside of Ala- 
bama. Only 11 girls were members of the women's armed services. In only 
a few instances were the occupations engaged in during the war years un- 
usual "war work" types of activity. 

The number of marriages (41 per cent) which were childless may be an 
indirect result of war conditions, as also the average of .76 child per marri- 
age. 

Since over three-fourths of the girls studied were living in Alabama five 
years after leaving high school the orientation of high school education 
should be to Alabama conditions and opportunities. 

Since 90 per cent of the girls in this study had at some time held a job 
for pay the importance of vocational guidance for girls would seem as 
general as for boys. 

The long-time trend for increasing numbers of married women to engage 
in remunerative employment is evidenced in this study to a marked degree. 
Vocational planning and training should therefore be developed with this in 
view. 

The basic considerations regarding engaging in remunerative work seem 
unaffected by marriage. 

The vocational success of the girls studied is attested by the marked ad- 
vance into occupations involving more responsibility, and by the great 
increase in earning capacity. That preparation secured in high school is 
important in making achievement on the job possible is verified by the great- 
ly increased appreciation of the general practical value of this school train- 



'• After High School-— What?, op. cit., p. 27. 

23 



ing by the youth studied as between the first year cut of high school and 
approximately five years later. 

In the evaluation of the training received in high school after five years 
of post-high-school experience, seven of the twelve subjects in the curricu- 
lum mentioned most frequently as "considered most helpful in college work 
or on jobs" are basic subjects, namely, English, mathematics, history, speech, 
Latin, general science, and chemistry. However, with the exception of Eng- 
lish and speech, these subjects are also among those mentioned most fre- 
quently as considered "least helpful." Since English is the subject most 
universally recognized as useful, its importance in the curriculum is apparent. 
English was also considered the subject which contributed most "to enjoy- 
ment and understanding of life." 

Of the vocational subjects in the high school curriculum typing pre- 
dominated in number of mentions as being "most helpful." Of subjects not 
studied and later regretted the "commercial" subjects were greatly in the 
lead, but shorthand was mentioned somewhat more frequently than typing. 
It would seem that a knowledge of typing is a common need, and should 
be acquired by most students in high school. 



24